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Published: October 25th 2018
Maryanne and Me
I was walking out of San Martin Pinario and spotted Maryanne from Sunshine in Melbourne. She struggled with bad knees, some new blisters, but made it just the same. Carrying her pack. You don’t earn that joy on a bus.
All is not lost.
Last night, after an excited band of travellers at the end, or start, of their journey, had the big picture taken, we retired to a bar just off the Plaza, to share stories, say goodbyes, and meet a couple of people I had seen but never met.
There were three generations gathered , with one purpose in mind. To celebrate having walked 779kms across Spain. Some will go home, others will pursue the last 117kms to Finisterre and Muxia.
Jesper and Anton are the youngest at 19, a few are in their 40’s, and a few of us follow at the rear in our ‘twilight years’.
I met an ex New York firefighter who had to retire after suffering a broken neck. Personal relationships dissolved and, at 42, he is walking to work out what’s next. No idea, but the Camino was very cathartic. He’s a happy single man, optimistic about the future.
Another was a Canadian school teacher who quit her job to walk, and now want to be a tour guide.
Isi’s dream is to open a vegan cafe and do some writing on vegan cooking and living. She’s
more than up to the task, and I hope she goes for it.
Matt. Well, Matt’s a livewire Australian, living in Berlin, and sales management is his game. I relate to his humour, love his drive, and I met him as a result of ruining his social media ban on AFL Grand Final day. Who cares; he’s an Essendon supporter. Ha. I told him the result that he was painstakingly avoiding. Isi and Matt are a great team and I got 2 for the price of 1 by meeting them.
Optimism and hope are abundant on the Way, and many young people are heading home to start careers, while the rest of us are pursuing new opportunities, or going home to readjust to their old lives.
Readjustment must seem a dramatic term, when most of us take a 5 week holiday and just go back to work. Walk the Camino and tell me it’s being dramatic.
I’ve listened to many versions of what this walk means to people, and everyone confirmed that it’s the people, their purpose for walking, the experiences and difficulties that they wouldn’t swap, and the ideas, plans, and growth that evolve after
Bar, TV, and Leisure Room, San Martin Pinario
Very sharp wifi and the best coffee in Santiago.
a 5 week mind game.
After walking to our accommodation for tomorrow night, and making sure I know the way out of Santiago on Saturday, I ate lunch with Lisa, a 23yo German girl I first met on the way up the long, steep, rocky climb to O Cebreiro.
We gelled immediately, and her love of life and interesting chat helped this often painful walk pass quickly, and we were soon at the top.
She is just another insightful, smart young person I’ve met along the Way, and while her immediate mission is to reunite with her boyfriend in Madrid, new job options and a happy future await her back home.
We’ve walked on and off for only about 8 days, but it’s difficult saying goodbye to someone who’s been a friend on the Camino.
God knows what’s happening with the Three Amigos from Arizona, but I wonder often, and will no doubt catch up with their stories sometime soon.
With the world at times looking like a dark place, like it’s every man for himself, people I have met here, and many at home, reaffirm that the world is going OK. I think
San Martin Cloister
€25 a night. It’s hard to believe. It’s a real gesture acknowledging the Pilgrims of the past and the modern version passing through.
we just need the next generation to take over. Imagine that.
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